After closing out the first set of games at the Girls 16/17 Player Development Camp last night, the teams were back on the ice for the second round of games today starting at 10 a.m. local time. Recaps and box score links for each game can be found below.
Before each team takes the ice, the strength and conditioning staff runs players through off-ice dynamic warmups, which is an opportunity to teach the players what it takes to get ready to perform at the highest level on the ice. While stressing the importance of a quality off-ice warmup, the staff mixes up the exercises each day with different games to keep the kids engaged and work on team building.
“Kids see us a bunch throughout the day. It’s really easy to get stale, so we’re making sure the girls are having fun by incorporating some sort of game," says strength and conditioning coach Kelli Vossler. "It helps get their minds off of being so rigid and serious. Once we get their blood flowing with a game, we go into their dynamic warmup.”
Between the game action, teams worked with the skills coaches during off-ice stickhandling sessions. Players were put through several different drills, including a juggling competition that had players pair up with a teammate to see who could keep the ball in the air the longest.
After the games wrapped up, there was one more session on the schedule for the day, this time for the goalies. All 16 netminders hit the ice for a station-based practiced designed by the goaltending coaches that included five drills and one final game. Several of the skill and team coaches joined the practice as shooters.
Light Blue 5, Black 2: Sydney Merritt connected with Kate Ham, who got Light Blue on the board 9:25 into the opening half. Grace Kuipers doubled the lead on the power-play eight minutes later with Emma Thomas and Rachel Golnitz picking up the assists. Black battled back to tie the game with tallies from Lily Stumm and Madeleine Masiello late in the half. Light Blue rattled off three straight goals off the sticks of Rachel Golnitz, Emma Thomas and Gali Levy (empty net) to account for the 5-2 final. McKinley Hoff made four saves on six shots and Callie Shanahan stopped all 14 shots she faced to help Light Blue to a 2-0 start at camp.
Gold 4, Gray 0: It took just 30 seconds for Gold to get on the board in the second game of the day, with Jenna Lawry finding the back of the net. Rosemary Doerner and Victoria Munger linked up for Gold’s second goal just 32 seconds later. Sabrina Kim set up Calli Forsberg to give Gold a 3-0 lead at the end of the first half. Kennedy Wilson added a fourth goal halfway through the second half to account for the 4-0 final. Goaltenders Grace Kedziora and Hannah Skavnak combined for 23 saves in the shutout effort.
White 5, Red 2: The third game of the day got off to a fast and furious start, with a total of six goals in the opening 23 minutes. Mallory Mauracher put White on the board first at the 1:51 mark before Red’s Ashley Clark evened the score six minutes later. White regained its one-goal lead when Madelyn Christian found the back of the net 12:45 into the half. Just over a minute later, Clark tallied her second goal of the game to bring the score back to even with Lily Martinson picking up the assist. From there, Jeannie Wallner and Madelynn Jablonski found the back of the net, giving White a 4-2 lead at the end of the first half. Anna Bargman added another goal for White in the second half to make it 5-2. Amongst goalies, White’s Sophia Bellina led the way with 12 saves on 12 shots.
Royal 3, Navy 1: After 17:33 of scoreless play, Ellen Nelson broke the ice to give Royal a 1-0 lead. It didn't take long for Navy to answer with a goal of their own, courtesy of Kara Goulding. To continue the flurry of scoring, Abbey Marohn set up Lila Trussel 43 seconds later to give Royal the lead once again. Zoe Pincelli opened a two-goal lead for Royal with a tally in the opening minute of the second half, which would end up being the final goal of the contest. Royal's Ashlyn Lewis and Lexington Secreto both made nine saves in the win.
Tara is back for her fifth year as a staff member at the Girls Player Development Camps, and her second in the role of an on-ice skills coach. Previously, she has served as an intern coach, intern goalie coach and goalie coach. She’s also worked as a staff member at various district-level camps.
When asked why she continues to be involved at the national level, Connelly says, “It’s a fun and exciting opportunity to work with the future of the sport and pass on the knowledge I’ve gained over the years as both a player and coach.”
Connelly grew up playing for the New England Falcons before attending the The Gunnery, a prep school in Connecticut. From there she went on to play four seasons of NCAA D-III hockey for Bowdoin College in Maine. Most recently, Connelly completed her third season as an assistant coach for the women’s hockey team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).
Her goal at camp this week is to “help players understand what it will take to bring their game to the next level and what skillsets they need to focus on to get there.”